Conor Meredith on the attack against Graiguecullen in their Round 1 meeting. Pic: Alf Harvey.
For the second time this year, O'Dempsey's and Graiguecullen will meet in the Laois SFC, but there will be a lot more at stake this time around.
The safety net afforded to them in Round 1 is gone, but Graiguecullen will happily take a repeat of the result. On that occasion, Aaron Forbes got in for a couple of goals and Graiguecullen eased themselves to victory from there.
Both have had interesting journeys since, coming through replays and both are hitting form at the right time. Neither could be accused of defensive football either, so if Joe Brennan lets the game flow then both teams should serve up a cracker.
The two games with Killeshin should have really done wonders for Graiguecullen, as the manner of both performances will have given players and supporters alike a big lift. The loss to Portlaoise was a deflating one for them, but Padraig Clancy deserves credit for refocussing his side quickly.
They may not have started those Killeshin games at full-tilt, but coming back at the death shows character, and teams can take an awful lot from winning games in that manner.
For O'Dempsey's, they are really firing on all cylinders now, and even in a stop-start game against Emo, they produced some lovely football. The biggest compliment you could pay them from that game is the goal they scored was Portlaoise-like, and that is what they are capable of.
They didn't start well against Emo, but the notable thing about them was their assuredness. They just seemed to know their chances would come, they were very calm throughout the game, and teams that can achieve that in their play are always to be feared.
They are by no means a finished article, but they do have a lot of the elements you look for in a team to challenge for honours. Their forwards are in form, they have a good midfield, an experienced spine in their defence, and a good goalkeeper.
You could say more or less the same thing about Graiguecullen, which should hopefully all add up to a close, high-scoring contest.
If O'Dempsey's can keep tabs on Forbes this time around, they have the forward line to nick it, but we have a nagging feeling this could be headed for a replay too, so we'll go for that here.
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